Quaker hallowed hush

One-time Quaker Meeting House, Waterford. My poem written from 1971 memories of attending Meeting, radically different to liturgical denominations. There was a badminton court in a side room. What also drew me and others was the “real coffee”  and biscuits after meeting.

top photo: Dora Kazmierak

view from gate downhill copy

On Sundays we students confidently strode

out granite gates and down the road,

boasting boys freely mingled, flirted

with fellow form girls, colourfully skirted.


No crocodile lines, no prefect chaperone,

our travels took us past the old stone

tower and family named quayside shops;

church bells, chimes from civic clock.


Meeting-house worship I explored,

silence loved, struck kindred chord;

sporadic homespun parables spoken

by either gender, the floor was open.


The Quaker-hallowed hush wooed

tenuous teen belief, God pursued;

meeting room simple, no decorative mark,

radial-arranged benches, spartan stark.


No hymns sung, no sermons spoken,

no wine drunken, no bread broken:

hardly religious, more like civics class –

after meeting Quaker coffee unsurpassed!


bottom photo: Garter Lane Theatre

hide and seek among bookcases


catch dream delightful nasal whiff,

antique calf covers, pungent pages,

sentimental this second-hand sniff,

older books witness to past ages.


second-hand bookshop unassuming,

frontage design from yester-year,

author arguments begin booming,

old fashioned, biblio atmosphere.


piles of books, passage near-blocked,

some covers warped, or detached,

some printed contents worm-pocked,

older authors not quickly despatched.


heritage honoured with due respect,

past authors offered warm embraces,

many ideas on pages freckle-specked

playing hide and seek among bookcases.

Wonder Woven Copper Hair

photo: Dora Kazmierak  www.instagram.com/dorakazmierak/


Brightly mirrored self-critical stare,

such wonder-woven copper hair:

smitten male, singed by flare.


Burnish-brushed, gamine mane,

her hymnal hum is never plain:

share secret oaths, my sweet swain.


Blessed boy, such girlish grace,

her finger-twisted ply in place:

swivel slow, show thy face.


O, to see those braids unbind,

hallowed hands slowly unwind:

sweetly striking heart and mind…